Seventy per cent of working mums do not think small employers should be exempt from maternity legislation, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
However, the poll of almost 200 women found that a quarter felt they should be with five per cent undecided.
The poll comes after recent debate about whether the raising of maternity leave to 12 months has made things harder for women in the current economic climate and made smaller employers less likely to employ them.
One woman said the Government should cover all the costs and that would get around the problem of prejudice against women. Although employers can currently claim back most of the cost of maternity pay, it can take time for them to be reimbursed, time which can cause problems in companies which are living hand to mouth.
Another working mum said the Government should increase the length of time someone works for a small employer to two or three years before they qualify for maternity leave.
But others felt women were entitled to maternity leave wherever they worked. One said small employers needed to be more progressive because “the future is working mums”.